5 Stories

How You Lost Your Right to Free Legal Counsel

Feds refuse to support historic Gideon v. Wainwright decision

(Newser) - Fifty years ago, a letter from a petty thief inspired the US Supreme Court to grant all criminal suspects the right to legal counsel—but today that right is effectively ebbing away, writes Andrew Cohen in The Atlantic . The thief was Clarence Gideon, and his case became the landmark Supreme... More »

Cops Can Question Suspects Sans Lawyer: High Court

Conservatives overturn 1986 case in 5-4 decision

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today overturned a longstanding ruling that stops police from initiating questions unless a defendant's lawyer is present, a move that will make it easier for prosecutors to interrogate suspects. The court’s conservatives, in a 5-4 victory, overturned a 1986 ruling that applied even to defendants who... More »

Congratulations, You've Been SuperServed!

Legal notifications on Facebook OK with Aussie supreme court

(Newser) - Australians can add legal judgments to the list of goodies their Facebook “friends” can send them. In what appears to be a global first, a Supreme Court judge today ruled that notices of default judgments—cases that don’t require defendants to appear—may be served on Facebook, the... More »

Settling Out of Court Pays Off, Study Finds

61% of plaintiffs who battle it out end up losing money

(Newser) - Taking a civil lawsuit to court tends to be a costly mistake, the New York Times reports. Researchers have found that plaintiffs who reject out-of-court settlements end up with less money 61% of the time, losing an average $43,000. Defendants turned out to be right more than plainfiffs about... More »

World Frowns on American For-Profit Bail System

Critics find private system unfair, corrupt; it's also effective

(Newser) - For the rest of the world, America’s bail bonds industry is a horrifying concept. Bail bondsmen are a private, commercial wing of the US justice system, putting up defendants’ bail in exchange for a non-refundable fee, the New York Times explains. To critics, the system is unfair and corrupt,... More »

5 Stories